3 Little Teasers

A hurried post just to show you teasers of three more wreaths that will be traveling with me to the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck next week.

HOT FLASH

HOT FLASH

Here is a peek at a portion of HOT FLASH. You saw its beginning in my last post.  The celluloid deer is 13″ tall just to give you an idea of the scale.  Hot pinks, golds, and greens are the main players in the color scheme.

ITALIAN GOLD

ITALIAN GOLD

This stunner is ITALIAN GOLD.  It is all tones of rich gold with a couple of pops of red as accent.  It features a large Italian angel from the 1970’s as its  centerpiece, and also has a Fontanini cherub, a ball with a nativity scene, and other assorted other riches.

ELF MAGIC

ELF MAGIC

And, finally, here is ELF MAGIC.  A paean to mid-century delights for those of you happily stuck in memories of our collective childhoods.

Today, I hope to spend time working on my Europe trip photographs to see what might be worthy of printing and taking to the Fair.  See you later!

PS I will share the real photographs of all of the new wreaths before I head off to New York.

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Between a Rock and a Hard Place

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At some point while going down the path as an “artist” (a term I am still not comfortable with regarding myself), one must address the “why” of what one does.  In my case, it became clear after a while that the reason I do what I do is simply because my work seems to make the people who like it happy.  Not because it is the next “big thing” or what an art critic might call “great art.”  It just makes people happy.  And, honestly, to know that something I make makes someone else happy is about as good as it gets.

So that’s why I keep on doing what I do.  Because of you.

It, therefore, really pains me – people-pleaser that I am – when I don’t make you, or at least some of you, happy.  And that is the case in point at the moment.

As I embarked on the path I am on, it was pretty lonely for a while.  But, gradually, through persistence, my horizons widened. As a result of a series of fortunate circumstances and just plain hard work, it is considerably less lonely out there nowadays. I am cheered by you all who follow me and urge me along.  Even though many of you and I have never met, I am encouraged by your enthusiastic, friendly support of what I do.

Over the past couple of years, the audience for the Vintage Christmas in particular has really blossomed.  I am grateful beyond measure for that.  It is exciting for me that I hear from people all over the country (and some from overseas, too).

The spate of new wreaths that I have been working feverishly to make for the Country Living Fair has particularly grabbed a lot of your attentions.  I have had numerous inquiries about pricing and how to purchase them.

And this is where I am not making you happy.

When I sign up to do a show, I make a commitment to bring enough product to show.  The show management also has expectations that need to be met by the artisans/vendors they choose to exhibit at their venue.  This is especially important with the Country Living shows.

So, I am now in the unfortunate position of having to tell you – my faithful followers – that the wreath you would like to buy is not actually available right now.  Because if I sold all of them now, I would show up in New York with an empty van.  And that’s not good either.

And, thus, I have to write you back and disappoint you.  And I hate that.  I don’t hear back from most folks after that email so I am left wondering if you understand the situation, are crushed, or maybe even mad.  Or, worse yet, you have concluded that you will never get a chance to buy one of my wreaths and just move on.  I surely do hope not.

It also means that the old saw which was inscribed in my consciousness since childhood, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” is flagrantly ignored.  Is this a wise business decision?  How can I be sure?

All I can do is what I think is the best thing to do at the moment, hope for the best, and hope that you will understand and forgive me.  And still be my friend.

As you have heard me say before, it takes me a long time to make 1 wreath – usually about 9 hours, which is broken up into 2 or sometimes even 3 sittings.  I do not make them by rote – that would be incredibly boring and unfulfilling to me.  Every piece in every given design was carefully placed there after a considerable amount of thought.  Sometimes I spend 30 minutes or more trying ornament after ornament until just the “right” one slips into place.  Some people may perceive that as indecisiveness but I disagree.  It means that I put every ounce of myself into making the best design I can possibly make at any given moment.  And because of that and because I absolutely love the materials I work with, I am pretty attached to everything I make.  It is important to me, therefore, that a wreath, for example, goes to someone who really loves it.

When Mariah Carey ended up with “Pink Parfait,” in her kitchen that was incredibly thrilling.  Once the initial amazement wore off, though, it dawned on me that as exciting as it was, that wreath is probably nothing more than just another pretty bauble among hundreds of pretty baubles in Mariah Carey’s life.

At the risk of sounding really corny, it means so much more to me when someone buys a wreath because they have an emotional connection with it.  Maybe it reminds them of their grandmother, or their childhood Christmases, or maybe there is an ornament in it that has special meaning for them.  Whatever the reason, they buy it because they recognize something in it that makes them happy.  And that is what makes me happy, too.

So, that brings me around again to the point of this little essay (which has probably gone on for far too long!): I’m sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place.  I hope that those of you who were anxious to buy one of the new wreaths will hang in there with me. There will be more to come.  They won’t be exactly the same as these but I promise they will be positively the best I can make.

In the meantime, I would truly welcome your comments and suggestions.  Please do let me hear from you, whether it be in comments here, on Facebook, or by email.  I promise to respond to all of them.

And if you want me to do something custom for you, don’t forget that is an option, too.

Hot Off the Press

Or out of my hands, I guess I should say.

SEA HOLLY

SEA HOLLY Wreath ©Glittermoon Vintage Christmas 2014

Just a Quickie

I just wanted to give you a quick peek at what’s going on out in the workshop.  I am working hard to have enough new things for the Country Living Fair (which starts 2 weeks from today -eek!!!)

Here is RED RIDER:

Red Rider Wreath 2014

Red Rider Wreath 2014

And here is the beginning of a wreath that I am making in the beautiful colors of the sea. IMG_1778

I may have trouble letting this one go….

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Now it’s time to get back to work!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend everybody!

 

 

The Grand Scale of Versailles

I hope you do not mind (and if I can figure out how to do it!) I would like to share a post I just wrote for my Garden Reverie blog about the massive scale of the gardens at Versailles.

So here goes.  Hope you will enjoy.  Please do let me know.

Be sure to CLICK on the photographs to see them full size – so much better!

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Perhaps you noticed that I have been quiet for the past month or so?  There’s a reason for it – or several reasons, actually.  Chief among them is that I traveled to Europe for the second half of April to do some photographing.  Since I have been back, it has been pedal-to-the-metal trying to get ready for The Country Living Magazine Fair in 2 weeks up in the Hudson River Valley.

I have not done a lick of gardening this spring (insert sad face here).  Not one pot has been planted , no veggies planted, none of the fountains cleaned out.  Mercifully, the garden still looks decent and it invites me to sit and listen to the birds and watch a zippy chipmunk for a brief moment when I can.

One of the places I visited was Versailles.  We hopped on a train from Paris for the quick ride there.  I was an art history major in college and I remember studying Versailles back in the day.  But nothing could have possibly prepared me for the mind-blowing scale of it when I finally got to see it in reality.  Holy cow.

The place was mobbed – it looked to be about a 3-hour wait to get into the Palace itself, so we took good old Rick Steve’s advice and headed down towards the “little” palaces at the far end of the property.  The plan was to work our back up through the gardens and finally end up at the Palace by late afternoon, at which time we hoped to get in.

It takes about 10 minutes or so to get to the Palace from the train station.  From the Palace, it is about a 40 MINUTE WALK (and I do not mean a stroll) to the Grand Trianon Palace.  Seriously.  The entire walk down is beautiful, precision straight allees of perfectly clipped trees (hornbeams, if I am not mistaken).  Miles and miles of them.  The upkeep beggars belief.  Old Louis must have had hundreds of gardeners working full tilt to keep this place maintained; I can only imagine the gardening hierarchy that must have been in play.

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I don’t have enough time to really tell you everything but I do want to show you just a few pictures so you can see how humongous this place is.  I enjoyed it (though, honestly, it is exhausting) but, in the end, I’ll take my cozy little flower garden with its nooks and crannies any day.  Louis had upwards of 20,000 people (!)living at Versailles at any given moment.  I would have gone insane.  No wonder he finally had the little palaces built so he could have some privacy.  But even his idea of privacy makes my skin crawl a little.

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So this is a small garden that is set between the Grand Trianon Palace and the Petit Trianon.  It is really lovely and quite peaceful.  My favorite spot on the grounds. DSC_0672 - Version 2

As you can see, the spring bulbs were in their final full glory.  I loved the Crown Imperials.  How fitting.

Once we left the Petit Trianon, we set off for the loooong walk towards the bottom of the gardens.  Again, miles of clipped allees with straight, perfectly sited vistas.  Really it is a marvel of linear design.

Going this way meant that eventually, I popped out from the side at the foot of the Grand Canal.  My jaw literally dropped.  I was expecting a cute little canal.  What I saw was this:

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This view is looking back (away from the Palace) towards the end of the Canal.  Just spectacular.   You can hire a charming little wooden dinghy and row around if you like.  People were picnicking.  It was delightful.  The swans were swimming with their babies.

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This is looking toward the Palace from the same spot.  Guess how long it takes to walk up there?

Right. A long time.

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And here is the view back towards the Canal from near the Palace.  Unbelievable.

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A knot garden off to one side of the Palace.DSC_0793 - Version 2

You can head down paths through hedges for individual little gardens set off from the main allee. This is about as intimate as you can get in the gardens at Versailles.

I have tons more pictures and I wish I had time to show you more but I have played hooky long enough this morning.

Have you been to Versailles?  What did you think?

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Sometimes Life Throws You a Curveball

A partial view of the first wreath for 2014, "Pink Pearl"

A partial view of the first wreath for 2014, “Pink Pearl”

I have only two more weeks to get ready for the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, NY and I am pretty stressed out about that (don’t forget to order your tickets now!).  I need to make a lot of Vintage Christmas as well as work on editing and printing some photographs, package cards, etcetera, etcetera.

So….last week, as luck would have it, my left shoulder started bothering me and by the end of the week, it was pretty excruciating. I had finally finished making a wreath called “Pink Pearl,” and was well into a new one.  Try as I might I just could not work through the pain enough so that I could get anywhere with a wreath.  Of course, this just made me feel even more stressed.  I took the weekend off to make a quick trip home to see my mother since I had not been able to make it for Mother’s Day.  I brought some cards with me to package and even that was really painful.  Now I was really worried.

Do you remember this charming snowman from a post earlier this year?

Do you remember this charming snowman from a post earlier this year?

So this morning, I went to the orthopedic clinic and found out that I have something akin to tendonitis.  Once I explained that I absolutely have to be able to work for the next couple of weeks, the PA mercifully understood my predicament and went right to prescribing a steroid, a pain-killer, and a muscle relaxer.  I have never taken a steroid and it makes me a little uneasy but after some conversation, I went ahead and filled the Rx.

Knowing that I cannot take all three of those meds and still stand upright, I went right for the most important one: the steroid.  He said it may take a couple of days for it to kick in.  After a while in the workshop, I went back into the house and took a half dose of the painkiller.  About an hour later, I realized that things were not quite as painful as they had been.  Halleluia – maybe this will work!  And even better I was able to finish the wreath I had been working on.  It was not a piece of cake but I was not so distracted by discomfort that it got in the way of my working.  Oh, heavenly praises.

Detail of "Snow Charming"

Detail of “Snow Charming”

SNOW CHARMING Wreath ©Glittermoon Productions 2014 2

“Snow Charming”

I am posting some crummy phone pictures of the new baby, “Snow Charming.”  I love the way it turned out.  As often seems to happen, the final 10% of the wreath took every bit as long as the first 90%.  I worked on that 10% from about 4 until just after 8 this evening.  I’m tired but elated that I could finish it.  I have a feeling things will be on the upswing now, barring any other calamities.  And I am hoping that the drugs will not turn me into an axe murderer or some other god awful thing.  I can’t work very quickly so I may not be able to produce as much but at least I can produce something.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!  Oh, and let me know how you like the new stuff, ok?